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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley (Read 27330 times)
Alan
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Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Mar 15th, 2008 at 8:53am
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We had a deercullers reunion at the Wairake hotel, Taupo about 1979 give or take a year or two..

Myself and another were in a final roar off for the roar competition, we would stand on the back of the truck and roar and the judges were sitting in the cab of the truck. Rex Forrester and Alan Reiher and I cant remember the third were the judges.  Rex jumped up onto the back of the truck to announce the winner ( not me bugger),  I lost to one of the old-timers naturally!
Anyway Rex Forrester was on the back of truck with the microphone announcing the winner when we were all interrupted by a fast approaching helicopter bearing down on the back lawn of the hotel.  It landed right in front of us at the same time a vehicle drove up and out got a very old time deerculler. Rex reckoned they had just found him in the Ureweras as he had been lost on the job for 30 years. The old chap was about 90, long beard and woolly hair, crippled and using a stick to walk. He was carrying an old open sighted 303 boar war rifle and was helped into the chopper by the pilot Joe Keeley.  It took off and at the same time a car with a trailer started to drive across the grass. All the time Rex is winding the crowd up with his banter about how the old hunters could out shoot the young ones (just like they beat me in the roar).  The trailer was like a covered dog trailer and had some beer bottles sitting on the top. The chopper took off and climbed away into the distance and then suddenly it turned and dived down through the huge high poplar trees that framed the site and leaning out the door and half on the skid was the old culler, 30 year old beard and long hair flowing in the wind, who fired the 303 one handed. Pow one of the bottles shattered in a puff of smoke!  The crowd roared, Rex crowed some more about how good the old hunters were as the machine climbed high into the sky, did a barrel roll and dived down amongst us again and bang, another bottle shattered.
The crowd was in awe but trouble was looming as the manager of the hotel had ran from the front desk and was now screaming at Rex to shut it down or he would call the police. A brief short discussion was had and before he could do anything the chopper was back, firing again without missing. This time the chopper went up almost vertical like a jet aircraft and then rolled over slowly almost stalling in mid air  and virtually upside down.  Standing next to me was a chopper pilot instructor,  he muttered "I did not believe helicopters could do that! "  But Joe Keeley did.  The machine again dived and the old fella never missed a bottle but you could see he was struggling to hang on with the gravity and death defying feats the chopper was undertaking.
The crowd  were naturally ducking every which way when one person  broke from the crowd and ran across the lawn towards the trees, the machine chased him down and the old hunter in the chopper now had a net gun and he fired it rolling the runner up as neat as. Buggered if I would have liked those lead weights coming at me and if he had of been hit on the head they would have killed him.
Rex now told the audience that the civil aviation department were flying around looking for this chopper and on cue Joe started to lower the chopper into the tall poplar trees. I remember clearly the leaves and branches flying as the chopper disappeared out of our sight. Not even the blades were visible from the ground.
It was quite a show Joe Keeley put on, helped of course by the fact a lot of chopper pilots and shooters were in the crowd.

Often when we would sit around and chew the fat we would laugh about the incident with the hotel manager and Rex would say "Remember that bugger tried to get the police" and we would laugh some more, knowing how we stopped him....but then there have to be secrets between mates!


« Last Edit: Mar 23rd, 2008 at 8:31pm by Alan »  

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Sikahill
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #1 - Mar 16th, 2008 at 11:55pm
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He's a legend - what a great yarn! Thanks Alan
  
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #2 - Mar 17th, 2008 at 7:28am
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Alan, we need more...
  
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #3 - Mar 17th, 2008 at 7:39am
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good stuff alan keep them comming Wink
  
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Andrew-GBB
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #4 - Mar 17th, 2008 at 8:01am
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I "aquired" a book off my Dad that is titled "Hunter for Hire" written by Rex forrester and Neil Illingworth now theres a F'in good read.
  
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #5 - Mar 17th, 2008 at 8:17am
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Bloody hard case eh,,things the old hunters are capable of and get away with Grin Grin

Alan,,did yi ever get R.Forrester's  gear into a suitable place?
  

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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #6 - Mar 17th, 2008 at 9:05am
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yes, I was wondering about that also?
  
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Alan
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #7 - Mar 18th, 2008 at 4:12am
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NO and I'm thinking of buying a container and going and getting it and locking it up here until I can find somewhere to display it all. If you guys remember deer world its all that whole display that was at deer world..
  

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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #8 - Mar 18th, 2008 at 5:00am
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'Deer World' is the place that used to be on the Taupo/Rotorua highway.
  

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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #9 - Mar 24th, 2008 at 11:27pm
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was at that reunion Alan, it was the most hilarious thing I have seen, Mel Bradley 'shooting' the beer bottles!!
  
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Alan
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #10 - Mar 25th, 2008 at 4:29am
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I think I remembered it pretty well...   hahahha I never did ask Rex but I just assume it was Mau dressed up as the old culler!   Anyway don't want to spill too much of the old culler tricks eh!
  

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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #11 - Mar 25th, 2008 at 7:35am
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I was walking my dog alongside Taradale Park  in the early 70s when the Martian's appeared out of the sky hollering ' whooping barrel rolling doing flips. It was quite a scene so much so an elderly lady in the pensioner flats just about had a heart attack. That was my first intro to the great PG TIP'S. Man could he fly that machine.
  
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #12 - Mar 25th, 2008 at 7:51am
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PG TIP'S is loaded up to the gunwales and roars off from Taupo . It get's over the pine forest. The pilot turns to the nervous passenger in the middle  who foolishly told the pilot about the taradale escapade. The pilot ask's the passenger" have you ever flown a chopper before". Passenger is petrified at this stage and is white with panic. Pilot thrusts cyclic into passenger's hand and says just caress it like a woman's breast. It was a long flight to the Mangamaire in sheer terror. The rollercoaster ends with a straight  90% climb stall and peel back. At that stage the heart was hurtling out of the bubble. This is mild to what happened to a mate of my who shot for  Joe looking for the lost boot on the Taupo Rd !!!!!!!!
  
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #13 - May 14th, 2008 at 8:12am
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Joe Keeley and his shooter are having a good session in the Rangitaiki boozer when the shooter complains he has lost his boot on the Napier Taupo Rd  and it was an expensive boot which would prevent him shooting in the morning.It was then late at night. Faced with this slight problem they needed to look for it right away. The D model gets fired up and they then proceed to fly 2 ft above the road back to Turungakumu hill where the boot is found all the while darting off the road when a car comes up the road. Some cars were so unnerved to see this light appear and then take off into the bush that they turned around and took off. The shooter despite being fairly full found it extremely scary hanging out of the machine and peering down onto the road.
  
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Re: Rex Forrester and Joe Keeley
Reply #14 - Jul 5th, 2008 at 8:24pm
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Bloody awesome read Alan - have heard many a story over the years about the chopper boys and how the yanks still can't get their heads around what them buggers used to do in them...  Cool
  

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